How Are Stomach Viruses So Intense?

via goats and soda

Researchers have discovered why some stomach bugs hit us so hard — and spread so fast.

New research published Wednesday in Cell Host & Microbe found that stomach infections, like norovirus and rotavirus, are more contagious and more potent when the virus particles cluster together.

These findings may help treat — and even prevent — these viruses more effectively.

The research began in 2015, when the researchers were studying polio viruses for a different project. It was led by Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet, who focuses on host-pathogen connections at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The researchers were looking, in particular, at vesicles — groups of viruses that clump together under protective membranes — compared to free-ranging viruses. Was there any difference, they wondered, in how the clustered and stand-alone viruses attacked our bodies?

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